Round-the-clock works on train substations to enable bigger, better trains to run on the Sunbury Line and pave the way for turn-up-and-go train services are now complete.
Crews worked 24/7 over six days in late February to connect two new substations at Talmage Street in Albion and Willaton Street in St Albans into the network, and complete upgrades to an existing substation at Diggers Rest.
Six brand new substations have been built as part of the upgrade, including others at Delahey, Footscray, St Albans Road in St Albans, and one at Calder Park rail yard. Crews also installed new high-voltage cabling between the substations and the rail corridor.
The upgrades will enable new high-capacity trains to run on the Sunbury Line in the future, using smart signalling technology to safely travel closer together, meaning more trains, more often on the Sunbury Line. The trains will also allow space for 113,000 more passengers in peak periods every week once the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025.
From mid-2022 crews will connect the Footscray, St Albans Road and Delahey substations to the network, while at the new Albion and St Albans substations landscaping and design works will include planting indigenous species and installing decorative screens to complement the local environments, with design input from the community.
Outside the new Footscray substation, a much-loved palm tree was recently returned to its home on McNab Avenue after it was temporarily relocated to a paddock in Clayton South while the building was constructed.
Other improvements underway as part of the Sunbury Line Upgrade include building longer and more accessible platforms, upgrading tracks and expanding train stabling.
Crews have also made major progress on piling and retaining walls for the new rail bridge that will replace the dangerous and congested Gap Road level crossing in Sunbury, which will be gone for good by the end of the year.
Gap Road/Station Street will be lowered under the existing rail line to preserve the heritage-listed Sunbury Station and to improve safety and ease congestion. New shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists will also be built.
The Metro Tunnel will connect the Sunbury Line to the Cranbourne/Pakenham Line, via twin rail tunnels and five new underground stations – the CBD, Arden, Parkville and St Kilda Road, and a future rail link to Melbourne Airport.
In a further boost for the area, early works are underway on the Sunbury Road upgrade. The upgrade will be finished by 2025 and add extra lanes on Sunbury Road between Powlett Street and Bulla-Diggers Rest Road, as well as installing traffic lights, new walking and cycling connections and building a new bridge over Jacksons Creek.
Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“This work is a big step towards enabling bigger, more modern trains to run on the Sunbury Line, connecting passengers to the Metro Tunnel and saving up to 40 minutes on a return journey to Parkville or St Kilda Road.”
Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman
“We’ve worked with local communities to design these important buildings to fit within the urban environment and added new landscaping and trees to our streets.”
Reviewed 28 February 2022